Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Regional

Mysterious fires burn down four family homesteads: Tsholotsho

by Herald
02 Jul 2011 at 04:52hrs | Views
A Tsholotsho family is being terrorised by mysterious fires that have burnt down four homesteads belonging to its members.

The mysterious fires have been going on for the past month at Mpilo Village, about 90km west of Tsholotsho Business Centre.

Stunned villagers said the fires start out of nowhere.

They said they suspected the fires were out to destroy a particular member of the family who is always present when they break out.

The villagers have since isolated the family, fearing that they could also be victims of the "bad omen".

In an interview on Wednesday, Mr Samson Moyo (84), the grandfather of the girl who is suspected to be the target of the strange fires, said they first broke out on May 3, after the death of his wife.

"The fires started on 3 May, two days after the death of my wife.

"The first one started in the evening when I was sleeping in my bedroom.

"I woke up to find smoke everywhere. I woke my pregnant grand daughter, Silungile Moyo, and we tried in vain to put it out. We could not retrieve anything from the hut," said Mr Moyo.

Mr Moyo said the fires burnt three more huts and a granary and reduced everything to ashes.

"We were still struggling to come to terms with the loss of the hut and trying to find the cause of the fire, when the kitchen was gutted the following day in the afternoon.

"The following morning the remaining three huts and a granary were reduced to ashes. We watched helplessly as the raging fire burnt all the remaining property.

"The fires would just start out of nowhere," said Mr Moyo.

He said he and the granddaughter were forced to seek accommodation at his sister's homestead.

"The fires followed us. A hut caught fire the very night we moved in and we woke up to discover that most of the property had been destroyed," he said.

Mr Moyo's sister, Miriam said she was frightened by the fires.

"Mntanani, okunje angikaze ngikubone. Kuyesabisa," Ms Moyo said. (My son I have never seen anything like this, its frightening)
She said the family removed some of the property from the remaining huts, fearing they would also catch fire.

"We had to remove our belongings from the hut and put them outside. That same day the hut caught fire and we were left stranded," said the tearful Ms Moyo.

Ms Moyo said to add to the mystery, Silungile's dress caught fire when she was about to put it on.

"We were shocked one afternoon when Silungile was about to put on her dress and it suddenly caught fire. She threw it away to avoid getting burnt," said Ms Moyo.

She said she spent several nights in the bush with her eight children.

"We only returned to the homestead after some relatives in South Africa sent us tents for use as roofing and blankets," said Ms Moyo.

She said when Silungile visited her in-laws who stay in the same village, her mother in-law's hut also got burnt.

"After the incident at her in-laws, Silungile visited her brother in the same village, where a hut caught fire in the middle of the night.

"This particular fire melted some three legged pots, burnt cattle records for the village. Money, food and kitchen utensils were also burnt," she said.

She said the last fire broke out on Wednesday last week and it burnt all the remaining houses in the compound leaving the family destitute.

"Other villagers are avoiding us because they think whatever is causing all this destruction will start attacking them as well.

"We have, however, sought spiritual assistance from members of the Johane Masowe Apostolic Sect who gave us holy water to cast away evil spirits," said Ms Moyo.

A desperate Mr Moyo said if he had wronged someone, he was ready to apologise and do what was needed to stop the torture his family was being subjected to.

Source - The Herald